I try to limit the number of conferences that I attend every year to a handful. Besides Esther Dyson’s PC Forum, there are few others that I like to attend regularly. However, I have to say that Chris Shipley’s Demo was a great show. Read more about it on Ventureblog.
Being on the east coast, it was great to catch up with a number of west coast VCs that I have not seen in awhile. Sure there were lots of great companies at the conference, but getting together with the other VCs to trade notes about deals that were in our pipeline was extremely valuable. For any company raising capital these days, it was clear to me that we are all eager to put money to work. There were all flavors of investor interest, some were excited about mobile telephony and cell phone games, others continued to like security and data center-related deals, while some liked consumer deals. The common theme I heard echoed from all of us was that management was key. When someone brought up a deal, it was not long before management was mentioned and in the context of how successful they were in prior startups. Yes, this is nothing new, but I thought I would just reiterate how important it is to have the right team and prior experience really helps! It was also clear that many of us were interested in blogging and understood the groundswell building but were not quite sure how to capitalize on that from an investment perspective. So all in all, it was a great conference and one that I plan on attending next year.